Mallory Park back open for business


No expense spared for the Mallory Open Day. MV 500-3…
No expense spared for the Mallory Open Day. MV 500-3…

 

…And Honda 250-6 took pride of place in the Pirelli awning
…And Honda 250-6 took pride of place in the Pirelli awning

Racing fans turned out in their 1000s when the new owners of the Friendly Circuit threw open their doors to herald a new era 

Mallory Park is back! And to get the message out to British motorsport fans, the new owners hosted a free motorsport open day at the Leicestershire circuit on Saturday, March 1.

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Thousands of motorsports enthusiast took full advantage of the opportunity to show their support for the circuit, which has been through troubled times in the past year.

Complaints by local residents about excessive noise and overuse issues were followed by protracted discussions between the circuit leaseholders, BARC, and the Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council. But when no agreements over future use could be reached, and the leaseholders were facing a hefty legal action, the circuit was put into administration.

One of the new Mallory bosses Stuart Hicken (right)
One of the new Mallory bosses Stuart Hicken (right)

It appeared that the famous venue might close for good until Real Motosport Ltd came to rescue in December and are now the leaseholders. The two men behind the company are Stuart Hicken and Eddie Roberts and both have lifelong experience in motorsport.

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Hicken, a former racer, owns the Buildbase BMW British Superbike racing team, while Roberts, also a former international racer, owns Complog, a major motorcycle racing tyre retailer and tyre supplier to British Superbike.

The Mallory Open Day showed the diverse motorsport that the circuits hosts, with the paddock full of different classes of racing motorcycles and cars.

Hicken said: “It’s been a great day – a great way to celebrate a real comeback for the racing circuit. You only have to see the thousands here to understand the support it has.”

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Real Motorsport ensured a healthy line-up of classic race bikes
Real Motorsport ensured a healthy line-up of classic race bikes

It’s perhaps understandable how much backing the racing fans give Mallory but, given the circuit’s very recent past, Real Motorsport could face issues with the local residents.

Hicken disagrees. “There’s always been a noise meter in the local village but we’re asking villagers if any of them are not happy, to come and talk to us.

“We held a meeting here in the circuit hospitality last week and of the 170 people who came, I’d say there were eight we still need to convince.

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“We have a noise meter on the bridge (over the start-finish line) so we can quickly spot anyone who is exceeding limits and they will be out.”

Hicken has experience at Mallory, having been the Marketing Manager from 1995 until 2005. “We never had any issues when I was here before. And we’ll be working hard to see we don’t have any in future.”

Niall Mackenzie’s Cadbury’s Boost Yamaha OW01
Niall Mackenzie’s Cadbury’s Boost Yamaha OW01

Real Motorsport are embracing the local community with plans to feature cycling, triathlons and equestrian events at the circuit – and the more contentious motorsport disciplines, like motocross, drifter cars and two-stroke karts will be dropped from the programme. The motocross track will be transformed into a mountain bike racing course.

This year’s motorsport calendar is limited, but that’s because most clubs had already formed their 2014 plans before Real Motorsport took over.

“The calendar for this year is reasonably full – and we have a voluntary agreement with the council over the amount of days we can run,” said Hicken.

The jewel in their first season will be the Mallory Bike Festival on July 11-13, promoted by the circuit owners themselves and similar in format to the previous Festival of 1000 Bikes run by the VMCC.

Words and photos by Gary Pinchin, editor of Classic Bike Guide magazine

 

John Cooper’s Seeley G50 Matchless.
John Cooper’s Seeley G50 Matchless.

Mallory Park 2014 Race Dates:

Sat, Jun 15     British Historic Motorcycle Racing

Sun, Jun 16    British Historic Motorcycle Racing

Fri, Jun 20      Rally of the Midlands

Sat, Jun 21     Rally of the Midlands

Sun, Jul 6        EMRA/Buildbase Motorcycle Racing

Sat, Jul 12       Mallory 1000 Bikes Event

Sun, Jul 13     Mallory 1000 Bikes Event

Sun, Jul 20     Classic Sports Car Club

Pirelli and Buildbase awnings full of bikes attracted the fans
Pirelli and Buildbase awnings full of bikes attracted the fans

Sun, Aug 10   EMRA/Buildbase Motorcycle Racing

Sun, Sep 7      Derby Phoenix Motorcycle Racing

Sun, Sep 14    EMRA/Buildbase Motorcycle Racing

Fri, Sep 26      Sidecar Race of the Year (Practice)

Sat, Sep 28     Sidecar Race of the Year (Race Day)

Sat, Oct 18      Thundersport Motorcycle Racing

Sun, Oct 19    Thundersport Motorcycle Racing

Sat, Nov 1       Race of the Year (Practice/Bonfire)

Sun, Nov 2      Race of the Year (Race Day)

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